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Free Tax Prep For Low-Income Taxpayers

United Way of Washtenaw County VITA Program offers free tax return service. VITA Program part of initiative to increase financial stability of low-income working individuals & families

Free tax preparation assistance is available to low-income Washtenaw County taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

Managed locally through the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC), VITA is a national IRS program providing free tax preparation for individuals and families making $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and those with limited English proficiency.

Trained VITA volunteers and certified tax professionals work one-on-one with eligible taxpayers to provide basic tax return preparation services and electronic filing; offer financial tips; and inform taxpayers about special tax credits they may qualify for such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.

In 2016, UWWC free tax services resulted in:

  • 596 state and federal returns filed
  • $578,000 in tax returns brought back to Washtenaw County
  • $90,000 estimated tax return preparation fees saved
  • 830 volunteer hours dedicated to serving Washtenaw County residents

“No one ever spends their way out of poverty,” said Pam Smith, President and CEO of United Way of Washtenaw County. “VITA is more than a community resource, it moves people another step away from crisis by helping them keep more of the income they have earned.”

Funded through the generous support of the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) and other community partners; the VITA Program serves as a cornerstone for the Washtenaw Financial Stability Coalition, a local interagency partnership focused on increasing the financial stability of low-income working individual and families. 

“Through critical financial capability programs like VITA, OCED is able to help Washtenaw County residents build assets and achieve a better economic future and quality of life,” said Andrea Plevek, Director, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.                                                        

The VITA Program is by appointment only. Eligible taxpayers can sign-up online or call 734-677-7235 to schedule an appointment. The appointment line is open 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m. Monday – Friday.

Taxpayers are asked to bring:

  • Photo ID for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
  • Social Security Card or ITIN for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
  • Birth dates for everyone that is included on the tax return
  • W-2s from all jobs held in 2016
  • All 1099s, 1098s and other tax forms
  • Savings and checking account and routing numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year's tax return
  • Child care provider information, including total paid in 2016 and their tax ID number
  • Landlord's name, address, phone number and rent paid in 2016
  • Household's health coverage information (1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C)
  • Proof of foreign status if applying for ITIN

To become a VITA volunteer, sign-up here. Volunteer shifts are February 2 -April 15. Training will be held in January by the IRS and experienced VITA volunteers. 

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development is committed to ensuring Washtenaw County residents have access to resources that support financial stability. 


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